The Art of Peace the Cause of Questioning War Brings Together Kurt Vonnegut, Igor Stravinsky, and a Webster U. Professor

By John M. McGuire Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

The Art of Peace the Cause of Questioning War Brings Together Kurt Vonnegut, Igor Stravinsky, and a Webster U. Professor


John M. McGuire Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


L'Histoire du Soldat premieres at 8 p.m. Monday on the mainstage of the Loretto Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Admission is $6, $3 for seniors and students. For info and reservations, call 968-7128.

There will be a second public performance 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Louis University High School Performing Arts Center, 4970 Oakland. Tickets are $6, $3 for students. Call 531-0330, ext. 569.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 74, a famous novelist who years ago opened the first Saab dealership in the United States, has a friend in suburban Oakland -- Harry James Cargas, a writer and teacher and emeritus professor at Webster University. Vonnegut and Cargas go way back, and they're getting together again here for three days of unusual theater. We mention the Swedish car dealership because it's a fine example of Vonnegut's off-plumb way of looking at things. He figures it's one of the reasons he should get the Nobel Prize for literature, presented each year in Stockholm, Sweden. There are two reasons, as he told the Rocky Mountain News: The Saab dealership and "I'm a great writer." But what will play in Webster Groves and St. Louis this Monday through Wednesday -- "L'Histoire du Soldat" -- is quite a writing departure even for an old pro like Vonnegut. "I started working on this at least two years ago," he said, speaking by telephone from his apartment in New York. The project began when A. Robert Johnson, founder and artistic director of the New York Philomusica, asked writer George Plimpton to see if Vonnegut would recast "L'Historie du Soldat," or "A Soldiers Story." Plimpton, another of Vonnegut's friends, approached him about rewriting the text of the 1917 Igor Stravinsky music drama. The original script is by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. Vonnegut says the original story line is nonsensical, but the music was wonderful. Stravinsky wrote 15 short pieces, each with its own title. Vonnegut agreed that the story needed a major update. "In the original, the soldier carried a violin -- just the thing to have in a foxhole! It had absolutely nothing to do with being a soldier." So Vonnegut updated the text and gave it martial relevancy. His version is loosely based on the execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik, the only GI executed for desertion in World War II, and the first since the Civil War. And in telling Slovik's story, Vonnegut nods in the direction of his friend Cargas. Vonnegut is coming here without charging a fee; "I'm doing it for him," he said of Cargas. Both Slovik and Cargas grew up in Hamtramck, Mich., and attended the same grade school in that Detroit industrial enclave. Cargas, a veteran of the Korean War, wrote the program note, saying "anyone familiar with the writings of Kurt Vonnegut will understand what attracted him to this person {Slovik}: his littleness, his dismal life, his tragic death. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Art of Peace the Cause of Questioning War Brings Together Kurt Vonnegut, Igor Stravinsky, and a Webster U. Professor
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.